He wasn't the only one at the theater company's big celebration tooting his own horn. Toronto architect Jack Diamond, who designed the $89 million edifice, took a swipe at the competition. "Too many theaters are blind. You don't have a sense of how the theater connects with the street," said Diamond, comparing his newest design — which looks out onto a busy city street — to the windowless Kennedy Center complex.
Another star of the evening was gala chairman Ann Nitze. "I'll tell you the attraction for coming down from New York,'' said guest Pat Patterson. "Ann Nitze — she called me 10 times and twisted my arm."
Partying started early with pre-embassy cocktails Saturday night at the Harman's D.C. home, where Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice led the list of powerful political women including Sen. Susan Collins and former Democratic vice presidential candidate Geraldine Ferraro. "We're going to have Condi play at the new theater," Jane Harman told guests.
Sunday night's embassy parties also included dinner at Villa Firenze, the elegant home of Italian Ambassador Giovanni Castellaneta and his wife, Lila. With racks of shimmering dresses designed by Renato Balestra on display in the front hall in preparation for a fashion show at the embassy Wednesday, Lila Castellaneta accessorized her magenta and black Balestra cocktail dress with a swirl of wriggling fur — her new five-month-old bichon frise puppy named PoFac, which means "puffy cheeks" in her native Persian.
Winding up the party triathlon, the gang reconvened Monday night for a gala performance. As outgoing British Ambassador Sir David Manning aptly observed: "This event deserves a glass of Champagne in each hand."